Check Out How These Lions Fiercely Hunt Down Their Prey

Africa is one of the most fascinating continents in the world, and it’s definitely the place to go if you’re an animal lover! As you may know, it is home to some of the world’s most fascinating species, including the world’s most feared predator: the lion. Year after year, millions of people travel to countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Botswana or Tanzania, hoping not only to spot a pride of lions but also to witness a lion attacking its prey. In this article, we’ll go over some fascinating stories of lions hunting and taking down their prey, and even though these stories have different outcomes, they’re all equally captivating!

Photo: Courtesy of Roaring Earth

#20. Pride Of Lions

Lions are one of the most feared predators in the world. They live in groups called “prides”, which are usually composed of up to 15 lions. The main reason why they live in prides is precisely so that they can team up together during hunts, thus improving their success rate.

Photo: Courtesy of Daily Mail

In fact, when lions hunt animals alone, they are only successful in 1 out every 6 attempts. However, when they hunt with the rest of their pride, their success rate is 1 out of 3. Pretty big difference, right?

#19. The Lions’ Prey

You’re probably wondering which animals lions usually prey on. They mostly feed on antelopes, impalas, zebras, wildebeest, warthogs, and giraffes. But what about those larger animals, such as buffalos, elephants, or hippos?

Photo: Courtesy of Sharp Magazine

When a single lion comes across a buffalo or an elephant, it doesn’t even bother attacking, since the chances of succeeding are grim. However, a group of at least 6 lions may occasionally hunt larger animals such as hippos or elephants, especially if they’re young, as seen in the picture above.

#18. Natural Hunters

But who is in charge of hunting: male lions or female lionesses? Most people believe that lionesses are the ones in charge of hunting, and this is generally true in prides that live in open areas such as the Serengeti National Park. In these areas, the females do most of the hunting while the males defend the pride’s territory.

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

However, in wooded areas such as the Kruger National Park in South Africa, male lions get most of their food by hunting it themselves. This striking picture of a male lion hunting a wildebeest in South Africa proves it.

#17. Strength And Speed

The two most remarkable features of a lion are its strength and its speed. Undoubtedly, their strength is their most valuable weapon when it comes to hunting their favorite preys, which include antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and gazelles. But are lions faster than the animals they hunt?

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

Even though lions can reach a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour in short sprints, all of their favorite preys are endurance runners. This means that antelopes, zebras, and all the other animals mentioned before may easily outrun lions, as they can achieve high speeds through distances of nearly 5 kilometers.

#16. Lurkers

Thus, lions need to get very close to their prey before the attack without being heard, and this is not as easy as it seems. They usually attack while the animals drink from lakes or rivers, as a way of catching them off guard.

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Now that you’ve learned a bit about lions, are you ready to hear some fascinating stories of lions hunting down other wild species? All of these cases have been recorded by ordinary people during their safari trips through Africa’s wildest National Parks and Game Reserves.

#15. Touring Through Botswana

A few years ago, Nathan Myhrvold went on a safari through Botswana’s most fascinating National Parks. One of his first stops was the Duba Plains, a private reserve located in the center of the Okavango Delta. He was looking forward to this trip, but he never expected what he saw.

Photo: Courtesy of Caters News Agency

The Okavango Delta is famous for being home to a pride of about 10 lions, as well as a herd of nearly 600 Cape buffalo. Let’s not forget that lions and buffalos are two of the “Big 5”, the five most difficult animals to spot on foot in the African continent.

#14. The Lethal Bite

If a lion wants to catch and kill a buffalo, it must jump on its back and try to make them stumble. But if more than one lion is present, they will start to pile on and jump on the buffalo together. This is exactly what these two male lions are attempting in the picture below.

Photo: Courtesy of ephotozine.com

If the buffalo does fall down, the lion will kill them with a lethal bite, usually at the underside of the neck in order to pierce their teeth down their trachea. Some other times, they simply put their mouth over the prey’s nose to suffocate them. This is exactly what Nathan saw for himself.

#13. Team Work

Nathan saw how six lions slowly approached the buffalo, but when the prey noticed he was about to be attacked, it was too late for him to run away. The lions piled on his back, the buffalo didn’t stand a chance and he quickly fell to the ground.

Photo: Courtesy of Mirror

The pride worked as a team, since while some of them jumped on top of him, others stood at a distance, making sure the buffalo wouldn’t run away. Nathan took several photos, and the following one will definitely send shivers down your spine.

#12. A Long Painful Death

This is the exact moment in which two of the lionesses bit the buffalo’s neck. Although most nature documentaries make you believe that all preys die quickly after being attacked, this is far from true. Can you guess the average time it takes for a lion to kill a buffalo?

Photo: Courtesy of nathanmyhrvold.com

After a buffalo is bitten on the neck, it suffers slow suffocation. They don’t die as quickly as antelopes or gazelles, because they have a stronger body. It usually takes 30 minutes for a buffalo to finally drop dead, although sometimes it takes a lion up to an hour to fulfill its goal. As regards the attack that Nathan witnessed, the buffalo struggled for roughly 20 minutes until finally suffocating.

#11. Fighting For Food

Once dead, the lions feed on its prey, and this part truly terrified Nathan. The first thing that a lion does before feeding on its prey is to lick the dead animal’s rectum clean, and this came as a shock for the people who were watching from the jeep. After that, the lion gnaws through the skin and starts feeding on its organs.

Photo: Courtesy of nathanmyhrvold.com

Nathan stated that as the lions fed on the buffalo, they made creepy hisses and growls. Lions are not very polite eaters, as they grab as much as they can for themselves as if it were a competition. Nathan didn’t expect such a gore scene, but nevertheless, he’s glad he was lucky enough to witness such a striking scene.

The next story is equally jaw-dropping, but it comes with a completely different ending!

#10. Touring Through South Africa

Jane Lockhart had always dreamt of going on a safari until she finally booked a ticket to Johannesburg, South Africa, and went on a Game ride through the famous Kruger National Park and to the Klaserie Game Reserve. These happen to be one of the best sites in Africa to spot lions, leopards, and cheetahs.

Photo: Courtesy of Roaring Earth

However, most parks in South Africa are also famous for its population of giraffes. Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world – reaching a maximum height of 5,5 meters – but in spite of their size, they can also be easy prey for lions.

#9. Attacking The Beast

In one of her morning game drives, Jhaneel witnessed and recorded on video a pride of lions attacking an adult male giraffe. The first thing that one of the lionesses did was to jump on the giraffe’s back, while the other four attacked its hind legs. Soon, a second lion jumped on its back, as shown in this second photo.

Photo: Courtesy of Roaring Earth

Even though the footage gives you the creeps, it’s striking that the giraffe looks so calm. It almost seems as if the giraffe were giving the lion a piggyback ride. How can he manage to disguise all the suffering, one may wonder?

#8. A Heroic Escape

At first, the giraffe kept running away, but a couple of minutes later, the five lions finally got the giraffe to a stop and tried to bring it to the ground. Jhaneel couldn’t believe what she was seeing, and the safari guide, Francois Pienaar, admitted that it was the best sighting in his guiding career.

Photo: Courtesy of

However, the giraffe wasn’t willing to give up, and she heroically managed to throw the lions off its back. As Jhaneel narrated, “After about 5 hours the lions finally gave up and the old bull lived to see another day”.

#7. A Difficult Target

Without a doubt, this giraffe was lucky. Lions are the only predators that can take down an adult giraffe, but doing so is not as simple as one would think. In fact, a single lion has no chance of killing a giraffe on its own. Bringing one to the ground requires the work of a coordinated pride.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

But even then, a pride of lions may fail in their attempt. In fact, giraffes defend themselves with kicks that are powerful enough to drop a lion dead. If the lions do manage to kill the giraffe, though, they’ll have enough meat for a whole week. This picture shows a giraffe that didn’t have the same lucky fate, as she was killed moments later.

Are you ready for our next story?

#6. The Hippo

Another animal that cannot be hunted by a single lion is the hippopotamus. An average hippo weighs one and a half tons, which is eight times the weight of a lion. However, if an entire pride of at least five lions works together, they can easily take down a hippo.

Photo: Courtesy of Roaring Earth

In 2018, a group of European tourists traveled to South Africa’s Kruger National Park and booked a tour with the company Kruger Sightings. They were well aware that Kruger was one of the best parks in the world for animal hunting, but never would they have imagined what they saw.

#5. The Hippo Goes Mad

While the tourists were riding along one of the park’s roads on their Land Rover, they came across an adult hippopotamus. Moments after, a pride of lions suddenly appeared, and they tried to take the hippo down. The people were excited but didn’t expect what was coming.

Photo: Courtesy of Live Wild Anima Reports in Kruger

The hippo didn’t seem to stand much chance against the lions, but he reacted in the most unexpected way. The hippo started biting the Land Rover as if pleading the people for help. Can you guess what happened next?

#4. Fateful Destiny

Seconds later, the hippo tried to run away, with the lions still biting on his hind legs. He managed to make its way into a ditch right off the road. The lions obviously followed the hippo and took turns to attack it.

Photo: Courtesy of

Nearly two minutes later, the lions finally managed to get through the hippo’s thick skin and brought him to the ground. This is where the footage ends, but we know the ending: the hippo didn’t stand a chance, and was finally killed by the lions.

Are you ready for our last story?

#3. Predator Vs. Predator

Another deadly predator is the crocodile. Crocodiles usually hide beneath the water in rivers, lakes or ponds, where they spend most of the day. They usually feed on fish and birds, but they also attack mammals while they drink water on the shores.

Photo: Courtesy of Bedroom Furniture

The curious thing about crocodiles is that they can be both the prey or the predator of a lion. In this last story, a group of tourists was in the middle of their afternoon game drive in Samburu, Kenya, when they spotted a crocodile on a nearly dried-up river. Soon, three lionesses approached the crocodile. What do you think happened next?

#2. Three Against One

One of the tourists managed to record the scene on video, so you can actually look it up on YouTube. When the crocodile realizes that the pride is heading towards him, he starts to crawl back, when the three lionesses violently attack him and try to claw and bite his armored legs and tail.

Photo: Courtesy of Roaring Earth

After the attack, the crocodile does a great job defending itself, unleashing an epic three-minute battle.

It wasn’t long before other lions moved in and began to claw and bite at the legs of the crocodile all the while making sure to stay clear of its huge jaws“, photogrpaher Hung Ta said.

#1. Fair Fight

The tourists were very lucky to have witnessed such fight, as it is not very common for lions and crocodiles to attack each other. The crocodile took the worst part, as he was severely injured by the lionesses.

Photo: Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

Nevertheless, both the lionesses and the crocodile managed to leave the battlefield alive but empty-stomached. Sometimes, the animal who has all the chances of losing ends up triumphantly escaping. While sometimes the lions successfully manage to hunt down and kill their prey, some other times they simply give up and tirelessly walk away. That’s how the circle of life works!

Related posts: